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Going back to the 4-3 defense

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by LikeUntoGod, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. LikeUntoGod

    LikeUntoGod Season Ticket Holder

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    I think one thing we should do, maybe not this year but the next is to switch back to a base 4-3 defense.

    One of my problems with the 3-4 is that is needs three special, hard to find and costly players. The NT, and two pass rushing OLB's. Cam Wake only has one pass rush move, the low speed one. Jason Taylor is going to retire and K Misi is not a 3-4 OLB at all.

    Right now we only have 2 and 1/2 of these 3 special players and JT will be retiring soon. Most NTs like ours, are almost useless on passing downs. More and more NFL teams have went to the 3-4 in the last couple of years partly because it is a copy cat league. But it has made finding those 3 special players harder to find and more expensive to own.

    The 3-4 is good against the run but unless you have two top pass rushing OLBs it is weak against the pass.

    We should trade away P Soliai for a high draft pick or...a QB, young DE, a good young corner etc etc.

    Langford, Starks, Odrick, Merling and even Igor would make good 4-3 DTs who could be rotated. All of them could play a NT in a 3-3-5 etc. We could play Wake and Taylor back at their natural DE positions. We need to work a 10 man DL rotation like Saban used to do. We used to wear down opposing OLs.

    Misi would also now be a DE or a simple OLB. No more trying to force a good college defensive end into being a 3-4 OLB. We need to stop trying to find and then beat square pegs into round holes.

    No more needing Wake and Taylor to make all our sacks. Right now we almost totally depend on them for sacks. Now we could have four DLs, 3 LBs and a couple of DBs who can reach the QB from their positions. Langford, Starks, Odrick, Merling etc might be slow as DEs but they have good speed for DTs.

    And of course, we can always zone blitz and/or blitz one or more LBs along with the 4 DL. Taylor and Wake would be great at zone blitzes.

    You can say that we really need to add another faster 4-3 defensive end but I'd counter that we also need a new 3-4 OLB. I think a good 4-3 DE is easier to find then a 3-4 OLB is.

    The other massive change we need to make is in the secondary. We drafted two good corners and we thought we were done, one reason being that our defense is stuck in the 1990's. We need at least 3 "starting corners" and some safeties who can pass cover.

    Right now we cannot handle a team that have a good pass catching TE and can go 3 wide.

    We need to adjust.
     
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  2. Southbeach

    Southbeach Banned

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    It is an interesting point you bring up, and one which I've thought of often. Our DL should be great in a 4-3. The problem is the LB's. Dansby is capable of being a true MLB, Misi could be good, but, then what?
     
  3. BlameItOnTheHenne

    BlameItOnTheHenne Taking a poop

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    I wanna go back to a good defense.
     
  4. miamiron

    miamiron There's always next year

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    The appropriate words here are capable and could be and then what

    Our linebackers as of now are to slow for a 4-3 defense
     
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  5. maynard

    maynard Who, whom?

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    Dansby and burnett are a problem. Otherwise I'm for it. I'm really not a fan of the 34.

    Seems me that the 34 is now behind the trend and is overbought.

    Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
     
  6. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    I agree 100%. Those 3-4 OLBs you talk about find themselves off the field or on a nickel/dime line in nickel situations.

    Right now Miami has:

    - Dansby ( a very good 4-3 SLB, he's not too slow for this)
    - Odrick (good three technique DT)
    - McDaniel (good one technique DT)
    - Wake a LE that can drop back once in a while
    - Starks ( a very good three technique or one technique DT)
    - Olshansky ( a one-gap or three-gap DT)
    - Misi (a DE that could be very useful in a zone blitz role to confuse defenses)

    Questionables:

    - Reshad Jones ( a guy that should be playing an in the box man coverage SS, not a zone coverage center fielder)
    - Clemons ( a zone coverage, safety first FS)

    All in all the team has the basic outlines of a 4-3 front but needs defensive ends including a new starter and depth to rotate in. It also needs a WLB and a MLB.

    If the team were to keep a 3-4 it would need to revise the SOLB, RILB, address how to possibly help Dansby on read and react skills at LILB, a new NT since Soliai will leave at the end of the year or will cost over 10m, the team also needs to resign Langford a guy that plays more or less in the base package and really does nothing other than hold his two-gap. He'd also be expensive to keep.

    The Colts find LBers for 4-3s without too much difficulty because the guys they find have decent size, decent agility, and good instincts. They don't have to be some kind of 250lb fire breathing beast that can blitz, cover, stop the inside run, stack-and-shed offensive guards, and cover RBs out of the backfield. They find pass rushers because they draft defensive linemen to play defensive line, not go through some kind of different learning curve to hopefully manufacture a solid DE.

    Great thread topic. As a suggestion I would go with a classic Miami 4-3. Not overly expensive, great depth, instinctive, fast, and versatile.
     
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  7. Striking

    Striking Junior Member

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    It all starts with tackling.
     
  8. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    If you want a 4-3 defense let it be a 4-3 defense that flies to the football. I'm talking about how Sean Spence at 6-1, 225 absolutely is at the football within a split second, tackling. Can he gain a few pounds (10), I think that's reasonable sure. Is he a WLB in the 4-3 through and through yes. Is he a guy that you won't hesitate to put on a TE, hell no I won't hesitate. I'm tired of having to resort to Sean Smith to cover TEs and Yeremiah Bell rather than a true LB. You want to play a ballerina TE on the field? I'm not going to care. I'm going to cover him, I'm going to continue stopping the run.

    Did I mention guys like this actually have instincts?
     
  9. Onehondo

    Onehondo Senior Member Club Member

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    The defense needs to go back to the philosophy of the great Dolphin defenses and that is swarming the football. Players didn't take plays off and continued pursuit no matter where they were at as long as the ball was moving. That was indeed swarming the ball and gang tackling.
     
  10. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    Really the most important thing is that the defense stop the run. When that happens things become much easier. When you have to constantly shift personnel and cannot stop the run, you're compromised. Very few great defenses have been poor at run stopping and that continues to this day.

    The most important point though is that I've seen all of these defenses work. I've seen great cover 2 defenses, Tampa 2 defenses, 4-3 overs, 4-3 under, 3-4 one-gap, 3-4 two-gap. It really doesn't matter what the scheme is, they've all worked. Do they play as a unit? Do they tackle? Do you have the right players? Do you have consistency? That's all it is. Nothing earth-shattering has happened on the defensive side of the ball in the last twenty years that says this is the great defense. Absolutely nothing.
     
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  11. RevRick

    RevRick Long Haired Leaping Gnome Club Member

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    Give the man a Gold Star!!! If I ever see a form tackling defensive player, specially in the defensive backfield, actually tackle someone instead of trying to knock them into the nickel seats or just try to get the Play of the Week 15 seconds of fame... I might up and have a stroke. I don't mind a missed tackle when the back either runs through good form, or slips out of a good tackle - but when all I see is a pair of locked forearms trying to knock someone down - that is putrid to the point of needing a honey wagon! That is not a missed tackle. That is a stupid play by a lazy player coached by an incompetent AND lazy coach.
     
  12. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure that the 3-4 isnt good against the pass like you say.

    7 out of the top 10 defenses against the pass this year are 3-4 defenses. And out of the 7. Jets, Texans, Bills and 49ers dont have great outside rush from the LBs. Texans have Mario Williams, but no one elite other then that.

    I think its tough to say really. But since if you go back to 2006, only the Colts in 2007 were in the top 2 in scoring defenses. 2006-2010 top 2 scoring defenses were 3-4. I think the dominate defenses are built this way. We shall see, 4-3 could make a comeback though, you never know.
     
  13. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    LUG hit on it, I'm a huge fan of the 4-3, the 3-4...sucks in Miami.

    :dunno:

    Why that it is, just seems like the 3-4 never works out for us.
     
  14. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Fighter of the Nightman

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    Probably has something to do with projecting 4-3 college into 3-4 roles... There's always a chance you miss on a player in the draft, but changing a position or technique change seems to increase the odds of a miss. We've simply missed... 4-3 seems like a better fit IMO.

    EDIT: Even BB was luck "**** it, we're going back to 4-3"...
     
  15. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    If we went back to a true 4-3 like Jim Bates ran, IMO, Dansby would be ideally your Will, perhaps your Sam, but not your Mike. Looking at our current roster if converted to a 4-3, I'd guess Misi would be the Sam, Wake the RDE, Odrick the LDE, and Langford and Starks at DT. The best choice we currently have for a 4-3 Mike, may be Mitchell. JMO. YMMV (I like that acronym btw, thanks Pads, you're the first one I ever saw use it) :)
     
  16. electrolyte

    electrolyte New Member

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    I am in agreement with the OP. Go back to the 4-3 defense.
     
  17. MonstBlitz

    MonstBlitz Nobody's Fart Catcher

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    I think we should hire Tom Olividatti to coach the D.
     
  18. NorFlaFin

    NorFlaFin Active Member

    Not a fan of Jim Bate's version of the 4-3 having having twin 330lb DT's/NT's is just two damn hard fine. I'm a big fan of the 4-3 that Mickey Andrews ran at FSU; it's predicated on having DL depth including one 330lb NT and 2 speed rushing ends.
     
  19. CaribPhin

    CaribPhin Guest

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    It's not the defense. It's the personnel and coaching.
     
  20. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    Bates version of the Miami 4-3 was miserable. It was a bland formation with no pressure from the DTs. Here's my preference. We spent a second round pick on Misi. What Misi does well is stop meet at the point of attack and stop the run. He can cover fairly well, and has good instincts. As a larger SLB in a 4-3 over he would succeed. What this allows is for Miami to put Cameron Wake at a 9 technique. I like Wake in a very wide arc at the nine. He still faces the RT except with a very wide head start over him and his responsibilities are to spill. He's ideal for that. Now on the inside of the defense the one technique lined up strong side should be Randy Starks. He has one-gap responsibilities and I think that he's ideal for this. His immediate strength off the ball and pass rush abilities are in good position (not to mention this puts Starks against the weakest part of the Patriot OL forcing a double team by Waters). At the three technique weak side you have Jared Odrick (McDaniels and Olshansky the backup guys for both spots). That's a good four man DT rotation and I could see a fifth developmental guy like Kearse in this role if we reacquire him or a true two-gapper kept in reserve. You do need a spill RE (perhaps Antwan Barnes) to add more pressure but look at that standard formation:

    - I have four guys that can rush the passer on every snap rather than Langford and Soliai who can't at all.
    - I will stop the run once I acquire a true MLB.

    The best part of the defense? My WLB can be a very range oriented player, a Derrick Brooks type that can cover you guessed it those annoying son of a ***** flex TEs and RBs. A true LB will blow up their blocks and cause havoc for the run game.

    Oh and did I mention I actually have a MLB that has instincts?
     
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  21. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    There's no inherent advantage 3-4 vs. 4-3. Not vs. the run, not vs. the pass. There's so many variations between the two stereotyping isn't really appropriate.

    Personally, if we're turning the coaching staff over including defense, there's a good chance Steve Spagnuolo will be on the market. That's my guy.
     
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  22. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    You read my friggin mind. That was exactly what I thought. Any thoughts on Koa as the 4-3 SLB, especially if he's lined up outside shade of the RT with Wake at the nine technique?
     
  23. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    That's what I would imagine, that's what Spagnuolo did a fair amount with Mathias Kiwanuka if I remember correctly, and I think it's a good use of Misi. I think the most likely thing would be to let Soliai walk, consolidate our currents DEs at DT, and find another DE that makes it more than just the current personnel in a 4-3 under.
     
  24. Rocky Raccoon

    Rocky Raccoon Greasepaint Ghost Staff Member

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    What makes you think Spagnuolo will be fired by the Rams?
     
  25. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's his third year and they might be the worst team in the league.
     
  26. Rocky Raccoon

    Rocky Raccoon Greasepaint Ghost Staff Member

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    I don't agree with that. They're not good, but they're not terrible and they are very young. I think they'll win some games this year and he'll be back. But stranger things have happened.
     
  27. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Fighter of the Nightman

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    Ohhh yes they are. They're truly terrible.
     
  28. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    Here's what intrigues me about Spags. He's a guy willing to take risks on defense. I've never heard anyone discuss it before but is it possible that a defense have a 6-0, 200 lb CB/FS, a 6-1, 215 FS/SS (that can cover CF), and a WLB that can play an in the box SS? What I'm suggesting is a defense that basically says forget playing nickel formation and keeps its full-sized personnel on the field without compromising its run supporting integrity. That could seriously harm teams efforts to use these nickel and flex TE formations.
     
  29. sws84

    sws84 Season Ticket Holder

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    ^ Yeah that ^ :)
     
  30. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    Going to a 4-3 defense is a TERRIBLE idea. With the exception of Buddy Ryan's 4-6 defense, all of the great defenses used the 4-3...Pittsburgh (FOREVER) Miami (No Name Defense/Killer B's), Ravens.

    You don't scrap a great defensive scheme. You scrap the players that can't perform.
     
  31. Onehondo

    Onehondo Senior Member Club Member

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    In order for a 3-4 defense to be effective you have to have a NT who can get some push up the middle and occasional pressure on the QB. You also have to have some defensive ends who can get some occasional pressure and fill the gaps outside the NT. A mediocre front three can have a negative effect on the entire front seven and help to make the entire defense weaker.
     
  32. LikeUntoGod

    LikeUntoGod Season Ticket Holder

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    Not sure what you mean here to be honest.
     
  33. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    Watch what Tennessee is doing this year on their defensive front and you'll see a very new idea in terms of run stopping and pressuring the quarterback through the 4-3. I think Miami has the pieces to do exactly what they do on defense perhaps even better than they do it.
     
  34. Muck

    Muck Throwback Uniform Crusader Retired Administrator

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    I've been thinking about this for weeks as well and procrastinated starting a thread about it. Good work. :up:

    You look at the trends around the league and specifically our division. Simply put, you need to be able to consistently get pressure up front, cover bigger, more versatile inside pass receivers and -- thanks to New England ushering in this hurry up offense -- do it with minimal in-drive substitution. That means more two-way players.

    I think the 4-3 lends itself more to that, all things being equal.

    - sent from my EVO 3D via Tapatalk -
     
  35. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    What also lends itself to a 4-3 is the fact that the team's LBs in concert are actually fairly well equipped to run it (Dansby, Burnett, Mitchell) and the team has a couple of edge rushers as well as one-gap defensive tackles. Miami could run an much more aggressive version of the defense it ran in the early 2000s. The CBs on the team also are by far better in man coverage too. In order to save assets for a QB of the future, a competent 4-3 defense is easier than paying for new parts and trying to fix this miserable 3-4.
     
  36. NorFlaFin

    NorFlaFin Active Member

    The Jags version of the 4-3 with Big John Henderson and Marcus Stoud is single hardest hitting defense I've seen in person.
     
  37. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    I forget who they had, I think it was Spicer on the end with them and Douglass. It was a 4-3 under from what I remember.
     
  38. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Which is one of my largest complaints about the 3-4, to many guys have to do many things really well for it to work, and finding those players is just difficult, and "it takes time"

    I've heard that crap for decades now.

    The real advantage of the 4-3 is simply College teams run it more often, meaning less of a learning curve for new players.
     
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